A suggestion for some (not all) heterosexual autistic men

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Mona Pereth
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10 Sep 2019, 4:06 am

Recently I was reading a blog post by John Elder Robison in which he talked about a past marriage. His allistic wife suffered from depression, which wasn't too much of a problem for him because he was not subject to emotional contagion (as some of us are). He says they had a nice complementary relationship in she was comforted by his predictability and he relied on her to be his social guide.

It occurred to me to wonder if perhaps some of the men here might be able to find similar relationships.

So, if you're feeling depressed about not having a girlfriend, and feeling depressed in general, perhaps you might try going to a depression support group in your area.

There, at least, the gender ratio will likely be in your favor. See: Why is depression more prevalent in women?. Don't be too gung ho about finding a girlfriend there; go there primarily to learn ways to cope with depression and also to find friends. But, who knows, you might find a girlfriend too.

Note: This is probably not a good idea if you are highly subject to emotional contagion, in which case being around a bunch of depressed people, let alone eventually living with a depressed person, will just bring you down even more. But, if that's not the case for you, then perhaps the above idea might be worth a try.

If anyone here has had experiences relevant to the above suggestion, I would be interested to hear about them.


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rdos
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10 Sep 2019, 4:18 am

Being subject to emotional contagion doesn't necessarily mean you will both become depressed. It's also possible that one part will detect that the other is becoming depressed, and peek them with happy feelings. That's how it works with my love interest (in both directions). I think this is optimal.



314pe
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10 Sep 2019, 5:18 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
If anyone here has had experiences relevant to the above suggestion, I would be interested to hear about them.

I have tried exactly this. For the very naive aspies it can lead to emotional abuse.



Mona Pereth
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10 Sep 2019, 8:17 am

rdos wrote:
Being subject to emotional contagion doesn't necessarily mean you will both become depressed. It's also possible that one part will detect that the other is becoming depressed, and peek them with happy feelings. That's how it works with my love interest (in both directions). I think this is optimal.

I think that what you're describing (detecting that the other is depressed, but not being overwhelmed by each other's depression) is a type of empathy, but not what is usually meant by emotional contagion.

If you are able to cheer each other up and give each other happy feelings, that is ideal.


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Last edited by Mona Pereth on 10 Sep 2019, 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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10 Sep 2019, 8:21 am

Two people in the abyss, with no confidence in getting out of it, is not a good combination.



Mona Pereth
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10 Sep 2019, 8:23 am

314pe wrote:
I have tried exactly this. For the very naive aspies it can lead to emotional abuse.

Yes, depression can have some nasty manifestations including extreme irritability and grudge-holding. Both partners would need to be committed to counteracting such manifestations in themselves, by whatever means will work for them.


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


Mona Pereth
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10 Sep 2019, 8:30 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Two people in the abyss, with no confidence in getting out of it, is not a good combination.

It might work well if they both can see good ways out for each other, if not for themselves.

It would probably also be helpful if they both had friends, not just each other. In particular, it would be helpful for the autistic partner to have some non-depressed autistic friends, it seems to me.


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- Finally diagnosed with ASD in May 2019, after having suspected it for over ten years, and after having deeply explored the autism community for over one year while waiting for and obtaining diagnosis.
- In longterm relationship with boyfriend who was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in 2001.
- Long history of participation in various oddball subcultures.
- My "Getting to know each other" thread: Hello from NYC.


SaveFerris
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10 Sep 2019, 8:35 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Two people in the abyss, with no confidence in getting out of it, is not a good combination.


I agree totally KK , it's a recipe for disaster , manipulation & pain.

Although it depends on the people involved.


And why is this post aimed at heterosexual men , what difference does sexual preference or gender make ?


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kraftiekortie
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10 Sep 2019, 8:39 am

At least one person has to believe that it is POSSIBLE for there to be a ladder out of the Abyss.

Otherwise, it's really like the blind leading the blind.



rdos
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10 Sep 2019, 8:52 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
rdos wrote:
Being subject to emotional contagion doesn't necessarily mean you will both become depressed. It's also possible that one part will detect that the other is becoming depressed, and peek them with happy feelings. That's how it works with my love interest (in both directions). I think this is optimal.

I think that what you're describing (detecting that the other is depressed, but not being overwhelmed by each other's depression) is a type of empathy, but not what is usually meant by emotional contagion.

If you are able to cheer each other up and give each other happy feelings, that is ideal.


I don't know if it is relevant, but we are not in an abyss, rather live our separate lives, which might make it easier to handle if one of us is down. It's a bit like if I want to be close to her I must go out, and if she doesn't feel like it, I can just circle her.

So, maybe this means that it is easier to avoid emotional contagion if you don't live together, rather have your own lives. Both of you having friends might work in a similar way.



kraftiekortie
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10 Sep 2019, 8:56 am

I'm talking about two hypothetical people with depression who don't feel hopeful.



rdos
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10 Sep 2019, 1:14 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I'm talking about two hypothetical people with depression who don't feel hopeful.


I think preventing depression is a lot better than having two people with depression trying to get out of it. It's so much easier to prevent it than to treat it.



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10 Sep 2019, 1:34 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
At least one person has to believe that it is POSSIBLE for there to be a ladder out of the Abyss.

Otherwise, it's really like the blind leading the blind.

Excellent point. There might be a bright light at the end of the tunnel of depression. Doesn’t make much difference if nobody can see it.

But there again...

If someone can’t see the light anyway, does it make a difference if they find their way out?



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10 Sep 2019, 1:56 pm

The blind leading the blind … through a minefield … while being chased by wolves … in the rain …

:(


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10 Sep 2019, 9:21 pm

That's what I did. I've been through a bad depression before & I managed to improve a lot since then. I seeked out women who had various mental issues like depression cuz I felt they might be more willing to give me half a chance & since I have been through depression & improved a lot, I might be able to be more supportive & understanding of them than someone who's never been through it. My current girlfriend has a bad depression & lots of other issues but I have a lot of other issues myself & things really can be difficult sometimes cuz of her depression. She sometimes accuses me & blames me for things that has noting to do with me. Cass used to take things out on her family a lot so this is nothing new to her. The problem for me is that I start to feel responsible & sometimes really wonder if she'll be better off without me cuz I feel she deserves much better. She feels she doesn't deserve anyone & that I'd be better off without her. I'll admit that my health has gotten worse in some ways cuz of the stress of things. I think that's some of the reason I started binge-eating & gained a bunch of weight the last few years & me being more lose with my money & spending more & getting into debt. I do see a ladder out of the abyss but the big problem is getting to it. Some of the problem is environmental circumstances that have been getting worse as well as Cass needing to get better medical treatment than she's been getting, & there's some bad things going on with her family that she's close to. Things will be much better for both of us if those three areas of her life improve a little. The good to look forward to is that our name has come up on waiting lists for a new apartment(long story) & I had an appointment with our doc(she's a nurse practitioner but like a GP) a couple weeks ago & she referred me to a psychiatrist. I made the appointment today for November 1st which was the soonest I could get. I have improved a lot in some ways by really knowing myself & my issues & the causes & effects & then researching meds myself & getting my GP to prescribe them but I'm kinda not sure what to try now thou I have a couple ideas & I highly doubt our doc will go for them & she'd insist on referring me to a psych anyways so I was open to the idea when our doc suggested it.


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